Welcome to another contributed post. Check out my T&Cs for the legals.
This one is all about the importance of a weekly budget plan. I also have several posts related to this about setting a budget which you may find helpful.
Weekly budgets should guide you as you try to balance your income with your expenditure. Without them, you will find it incredibly difficult to keep everything possibly balanced. Many people assume if they put strict budgets in place, they will have to sacrifice elements of their lifestyle, but that doesn’t actually have to be the case. It’s possible to manage a good and helpful budget without experiencing massive upheaval in terms of the way you live your life.
Embrace Off-Season Deals on All Kinds of Things
Off-season is going to become your best friend as you try to stick to a weekly budget while still doing and having the things you love. Instead of travelling during the summer, go in the off-season to save yourself a lot of money. Sadly this is tricky if you work in the education sector or a job that has restricted leave allocation, but try wherever possible to book early and do your research. Buying flights and accommodation separately may work out cheaper. And instead of buying new clothing items from the latest range, wait until they go out of season and then save them for the following year. The essentials checklist could help you to save money on your day to day bills.
Cook Meals at Home That Can Rival Your Favourite Restaurants
Eating out can be a massive cause of expenditure for many people but those restaurants can’t continue to drain your cash if you’re planning on sticking to a strict budget. That’s why you should enjoy cooking your own meals at home. Once you get good at it, you will have meals that can rival the restaurant food you’re used to. Save going to restaurants for date-nights and celebrations. That way, they stay a treat and you’ll appreciate them more.
Occasionally Delay Payments by Using Credit Cards (just be careful!)
Credit cards aren’t the solution to every financial situation, and certainly avoiding them once you’ve created a credit score is the safest advice, but when you’re trying to build a good credit score, spread payments and stick to a budget each week, it can actually be good to make use of them, providing you are savvy. 0% is the best idea by far if you’re going to use one. Find credit cards for average credit and choose the one that best meets your needs. Do your research! Try an eligibility calculator to see if a particular credit card is right for you BEFORE you apply (and avoid harming your credit score). If you do this carefully, and ALWAYS PAY OFF THE BALANCE IN FULL, this idea could help you out massively.
Stay Entertained by Doing Things That Are Free and Fun
You don’t have to stop having fun or being entertained just because you’re trying to stick to a budget. Instead, you just need to take advantage of the many free ways in which you can have a good time. Spending time with friends and doing things that don’t put a huge strain on your bank balance is always possible, so make sure you pursue those options in the future.
Get Invested in the Challenge
This is certainly going to be a pretty big challenge for you and your family, so if you want to stick to it and enjoy the whole process, you’re going to have to get fully invested in it. That’s not always easy to do when you’re having difficulties and experiencing struggles, but you will find that any slight damage to your lifestyle will be mitigated by the fact that you’re enjoying the challenge.
Just because you want to balance your finances and get things back on track, that doesn’t mean you have to give things up in the other areas of your life. As these ideas show, you can make real and lasting changes in order to manage your budget without sacrificing anything else.
Now its your turn. What tricks do you use to stick to a budget? Leave me a comment below!
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